Pictures of food from Stella in Oklahoma City

Stella: modern Italian cuisine

by | November 20, 2010 | 23 Comments

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Stella

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1201 N. Walker
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
405-235-2200
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Exterior of Stella in Oklahoma City

Photos courtesy of
Lacey Elaine Dillard

Stella, a new spot in the ever-growing Midtown section of OKC, is the perfect name for a restaurant that is distinctly feminine, intimate, romantic and trendy. Stella seems like a little boutique bistro you might find in New York City or Chicago. As such, it is a unique and much-welcomed to OKC’s food scene.

I have been to Stella at night and also for lunch and happy hour. During the day time, the huge splash of windows create a cheery atmosphere suitable for interactions with friends and business associates. At night, however, the atmosphere is much more intimate and romantic, making it better for a date night than for simply hanging out with friends.

On a recent dinner visit, my husband and I sat in one of several two-top tables in the bar area. Though this was a well-traveled portion of the restaurant, the lighting and design helped to still encourage a romantic atmosphere. In fact, the lights were almost turned down too low to the point that it was hard to read the menu.

The first thing you notice when looking over the menu is the presence of local ingredients like J-M Farm mushrooms, local honey, and Prairie Thunder bread. This is a huge plus as far as I am concerned. They also had a changing, seasonal menu. I visited in the fall and the menu offered touches of fall flavors and a fall drink list specially tailored by their head bartender. Nice touch. My husband had a glass of Chianti ($7) from their extensive, though somewhat pricey, list. I had a pear bellini that was refreshing and easy to sip throughout the night.

The experience starts well with fresh (and local) bread accompanied by a plate of olive oil with fresh garlic cloves soaking in the bottom. Our waiter put our bread in the wood fire oven for a couple of minutes before bringing it to our table piping hot and perfectly crispy. Unfortunately, he didn’t do that for the subsequent bread he brought to our table, which didn’t live up to that first yummy batch.

We both started with soup — mine a butternut squash and his a white bean and bacon concoction (each $3.50 a cup). The butternut squash soup had a perfectly creamy texture and great flavor. It was topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh ground pepper at the table, which added just enough of a kick. It was warm and a good portion. The white bean and bacon however was a little bland for me, with not nearly enough bacon flavor, in my opinion.

My husband decided to go with the risotto of the day, which that day was a pancetta and red pepper blend. It had nice chunks of pancetta and was adequately creamy, but I have to say I have had better risottos. I love that they have a daily rotating option though, and will definitely be trying a different one again. My husband, who isn’t really one for flowerly words, said it “was pretty good,” so take that for what it’s worth.

With the wood-burning oven sitting right in front of our table at the bar, I couldn’t resist going with the Italian sausage, red onion, fresh mozzarella and arugula pizza ($13). It came out straight from the oven, with a cracker-thin crust. I found the amount of arugula to be a bit much on the pizza, so I picked some of it off. But what was left was absolutely delicious. Our waiter sprinkled freshly ground parmesan on top and the Italian sausage had a great seasoning and was well ground for pizza slices. Overall, I think the pizza is the star here.

We ended the evening with a piece of tiramisu ($8), my husband’s favorite. It was a twist on the original with a citrus cream flavor that I found interesting but my husband was not fond of. The piece was big and seemed freshly-made and gave a unique spin on this well-loved standard.

Throughout the meal, our waiter was adequately attentive, but mostly left us alone, which fit with the romantic/intimate atmosphere.

Overall, Stella is a much-needed, high-style addition to the Midtown area. The food is pricey (our total bill was $68 including tip), but it is fresh, local and diverse. Plus, the atmosphere definitely encourages an intimate experience at night while capturing a more casual vibe during the day. I think it will definitely become part of our rotation.

Have you tried Stella, either at night or during the day? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Stella on Urbanspoon
Stella Oklahoma City, OK

More Photos from Stella

Photos by Lacey Elaine Dillard

Risotto, Pizza and Bread at Stella in Oklahoma CityInterior of Stella in Oklahoma CityExterior of Stella in Oklahoma CityInterior of Stella in Oklahoma CityRisotto at Stella in Oklahoma CityFlatbread Pizza at Stella in Oklahoma CityBooth at Stella in Oklahoma CityFlatbread Pizza at Stella in Oklahoma City

This article was posted by Jennifer Monies on Saturday, November 20th, 2010. It is filed under:

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  • Cult of Nobody says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 8:21 am   

    Hmmm…. Sounds like a good place for Valentines and it’s a place to have italian that doesn’t have the initials OG in it’s name.

    You don’t happen to know if they use Open Table do you?

  • AML says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 9:22 am   

    Yes, they do use Open Table…….ate dinner there last night and highly recommend. The pizza with the fennel is by far my favorite!

  • Cult of Nobody says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 2:49 pm   

    Awesome…… And I love fennel. That pizza sounds right up my alley.

  • Gillian Lang says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 8:54 am   

    We ate lunch at Stella shortly after it opened. The food was wonderful, I had the goat cheese and lentil salad and my hubby had pizza. We split dessert which was a blueberry polenta cake and I would rank it one of my top 5 desserts. I loved the decor and ambiance, hubby was feeling there was a little too much estrogen as it is was mostly women eating there that day! Price wise yes it is a little steep, especially the dessert. It is a great destination for a special meal.

  • molly says:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 7:11 am   

    oh man, i love this place. it’s such a gem in the city, and the whole menu was appetizing to me. when i went for dinner, i had the bacon crusted salmon and it was phenomenal. unlike the soup, it was definitely NOT short on the bacon. my fiance had the penne pasta beef ragout and devoured it. we’ll definitely be headed back soon.

  • Emily says:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 5:03 pm   

    I tried the Pasta with Lemon Cream and seasonal vegetables and thought it was oily…however, the bread and garlic olice oil was the best part! My co-worker had the Roasted White Chicken Pizza and it was very good, if extremely rich tasting.

    The price tag on the lunch meal wasn’t as high as I expected, but the food there was just too oily and rich.

  • Brad Holt says:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 9:52 pm   

    I’m still not much interested in trying Stella a second time. My only visit was during their first few weeks. The food wasn’t memorable, but the service certainly was, and we’ve never been back. We were still waiting for our entrees a full hour after ordering. The owner offered an apology and a single dessert for three of us to share after we complained.

  • AJ Winters says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 8:53 am   

    The pizza is the best thing about Stella. They now offer limo service to the thunder games and jave very good service.

    I would like to see a bigger selection of apps as theirs is pretty limited. My biggest complaint is the wine list. It is very very overpriced 3x is fine over retail. But the 5x some of their wines are marked up is excessive.

  • Chelsea says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:46 pm   

    I went to Stella with my boyfriend and will definitely not be going back. When we got there, there was only one other couple eating in the entire place, but we were seated at a table whose only view was the fire extinguisher. After more than 30 minutes, a waiter finally asked what we wanted to drink. It took another 10 minutes to get our waters and soft drinks. A few minutes later, some people were sat at the table next to us. After they ordered their drinks (which also took a long time) bread was delivered to their table. We eventually had to ask their waiter if we could have some bread since we had not seen our waiter again. We eventually were served bread, and 20 minutes later our waiter returned to tell us the specials of the day. However, he turned around and left before we could order. The table next to us seemed to be having a difficult time getting someone to take their order as well. Finally, our waiter returned and took our order. The table next to us also asked him to take their order.

    When we got our food, we were highly disappointed. I ordered filet mignon (one of the daily specials) and my boyfriend ordered the bacon crusted salmon. The filet was so tough that I could hardly cut through it. It was flavorless and entirely disappointing. The salmon was worse. The bacon was so over cooked that it turned to black powder when my boyfriend tried to pick it off the salmon in hopes of salvaging the fish. The salmon was little over cooked, but that did not seem like such a big deal considering everything else. Also, the portion was extremely small.

    After we were done eating, we waited another 20 minutes before our waiter returned to see how everything was. When we told him our meals were over cooked, he responded by saying, “Wow, that sucks” and walked off. When we saw another waiter, we asked them to bring us our check. We stopped for real food on the way home.

  • AJ says:
    December 8th, 2010 at 10:02 am   

    I live within walking distance of Stella, so I was pretty excited to try it. It is expensive, and I think I will just stick with appetizers, drinks, and pizza from now on, though the two main courses that I have tried were very good. The bread and garlic olive oil is AMAZING. Our waiter had no idea what was going on, but it made for an entertaining evening. One thing I didn’t like was the techno trance music, but that isn’t too big of a deal.

  • Steve says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 2:40 pm   

    This place is terrible.

  • Kim says:
    January 25th, 2011 at 12:25 pm   

    I have no clue what you all are talking about. I went to Stella’s my soup was cold, not even room temperature (it was aparagus, don’t think it was supposed to be no matter what restaurant you go to). The food basically I had a veal pot roast. It was a pot roast! Come on people, you really think its all that great. If you are a drinker then fine! This is a wine bar, they specialize in wine, not food.

    I went with a group of 10 people. We all had a variety of foods, from appetizers to desserts. The ‘drinkers’ enjoyed their wine which was easily refilled. Those of us that did not drink did not consider the food that ‘wonderful.’ And I have to say, none of us have returned!

  • Sadie says:
    January 31st, 2011 at 3:12 pm   

    Went to Stella’s with several people from the office at lunch. They were packed and it took a while for them to seat us. We immediately realized that there was no hope for a decent conversation, because the atmosphere was so loud we couldn’t hear each other even when repeated. The bread with garlic infused Olive Oil was good, and so was the side salad I had. We were not very impressed with our waitress who had to be flagged down multiple time to get drink refills. Our order was taken fairly promptly, but it took a good 30 minutes or more to get our food. My pizza was wonderful! The thin cracker crust and the fresh mozzarella and basil made it very good. I really did like my pizza, but I’m not sure it would be worth the headache of going back again. Literally, we all left with headaches because of the noise level. I don’t imagine I’ll ever return, at least during lunch.

  • dianne says:
    February 15th, 2011 at 10:01 am   

    Hey, we are all about a nice dinner and dont mind paying if the food and service are worth the price but Stella didn’t do it for us….Four of us ate there for an evening dinner and our food was just “OK” and both of our tickets were almost $100 each…and only 2 glasses of wine are in that price….wont go back unfortunately!

  • Becky M says:
    February 15th, 2011 at 11:04 am   

    The decor is nice and the night we were there the service was good. It’s not what I would call hearty italian fare, it’s more trendy stuff and so a bit on the pricey side. They bread from Prairie Thunder was very good. The food was good, but not “Oh wow, I gotta go back.”

  • Brian Grider says:
    February 15th, 2011 at 11:23 am   

    We gave it a shot a few months back, I honestly don’t remember what I had, it wasn’t too great, wasn’t awful though. My wife on the other hand was about 7 months pregnant at the time and chose to get a steak, which was a mistake. After she ordered it she realized she should have gotten something simple. But, she ordered it well done, since she couldn’t eat any red meat. Well, first time it came out, cut into it, literally looked like it was barely on the grill, it was incredibly pink. Sent it back. Second time, not much better, after the third shot it was much better. Waiter apologized, but nothing else other than that. Wasn’t really expecting anything for free or anything, but they just didn’t seem to apologizing for not knowing how to cook a well done steak. Haven’t decided if we’ll go back there or not. But we have been to 1492 next door a good 6 times since then. Which has never been a disappointment.

  • Josie says:
    February 15th, 2011 at 3:15 pm   

    Probably the worst Italian meal we have ever had…there were three of us, and none of us had anything that was worth eating there again. Must have a lot of friends that have written about this place as it is not good.

  • Kpye says:
    February 16th, 2011 at 3:51 pm   

    My husband and I have been to Stella on several occasions. The first time we shared the brushetta app. It was quite tasty, but would have liked more on the plate. We have always ordered the pizza. In fact, it is probably our favorite in town. He likes the cheese and I really like the tomato and basil. We really like that the pizza seems a bit healthier than other options and it tastes fresher with all of the fresh toppings. We were quite impressed that our waiter from our first visit always remembers us and goes out of his way to say hello. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen before. On our last visit we actually saw them wheeling the bread over from across the street. We will go back to Stella and often!

  • Susan says:
    February 19th, 2011 at 1:36 pm   

    I’ve had dinner at Stella’s and it was memorable in that I won’t be having it there again. However, I like it for drinks and appetizers….their pizza is very good. My friends and I enjoy sitting at the bar for a drink or a glass of wine.. Their mixed drink menu is not your ordinary menu . It offers some great flavor combinations.

  • Anne says:
    February 26th, 2011 at 8:40 am   

    We eat there all the time and most of our experiences have been great and we are treated like valued customers – but not always. The last few times we went there, we were tucked away in a corner of a vacant or nearly vacant room when (a) we had reservations and (b) there were at least 50% vacant tables. Worst, however, is that the last 2 times we ate there we were seated at the table closest to the very noisy dishwashing area. Nothing like the smell of chlorine to compliment your pizza! Upon complaining to the waitress, we never saw her again. We had to pour our own wine, were not offered dessert or coffee – she just brought the check. Now, to Stella’s credit, they did offer to move us (which we declined because it is such a “to-do” and they did comp the food (without our request) – but they did not comp the wine, which we thought they should. We will probably go back but refuse to be seated at table #34 or in a vacant room.

  • Deb says:
    June 12th, 2011 at 6:47 am   

    Hubby and I had a fabulous pre-game (Thunder) dinner at Stella based on a recommendation from our daughter who lives in OKC. We disagree with this reviewer who described it as feminine. Sleek, modern, lively, clean… yes. Feminine, no way. Our experience was delightful.

  • Jeff says:
    May 2nd, 2014 at 12:01 am   

    Obviously Chelsea is not a real customer. Does she really think people are going to believer her stating that they sat in the restaurant for 30 minutes without getting any drinks when there was only 1 other table in the restaurant. This is obvious some other restaurant employee or owner trying to make a bad name for this restaurant. What an idiot!

    And if she really did set in an empty restaurant for 30 minutes waiting for a drink – she really is an idiot!!

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Thank you for sharing about this gem. I would have never known!

David, left as a comment about 4U Cafe